We all grow up with a dream of becoming either a doctor, police officer, actor, teacher, the list goes on and on. I didn't become any of the things I dreamed of as a little girl but Water Cooler Diaries: Women Across America Share Their Day at Work — an anthology of 35 full-length stories and many more highlights and excerpts edited by Joni B. Cole and B.K. Rakhra — gave me a glimpse into the lives of some women who have fulfilled those dream jobs.
Dr. Erika Mitchell in “Orthopedic Trauma Surgeon” details one day in the life of a surgeon, dealing with demanding families of the patient, complicated operations, recovery and even the pain that comes with losing a patient. She shares the emotional side of what is often seen as a rather stoic profession. Her time is in such demand she rarely has an opportunity for a decent meal and her new house is still empty because she hasn't had an opportunity to shop for furniture; but she's not complaining because she loves her job.
As a writer, I enjoyed Tina Wexler's “Assistant To A Literary Agent.” She writes about all that goes into getting a book contract, getting it written, published and promoted - having the ability to multi-task is definitely required. I was surprised to learn a writer could have the best manuscript ever written but if it's fantasy and the agent prefers sci-fi the agent won't represent the author. Such a subjective field for all participants.
“Intake Counselor, Oregon Department Of Corrections” describes a job I didn't even know existed. Janet Ross compiles files on inmates to assess their needs and to determine where they will serve their time. When she puts a criminal's file together she will also interview them, giving the inmate an opportunity to tell their side of the story. She has heard devastating life stories - things she can't image having to deal with in her life. Janet takes a positive approach to her job because she wants to have a positive influence on the criminal; she hopes they will make a change for the better. I have one question for Janet, though: where do you hide your angel wings?